WASHINGTON (May 13, 2013)--The Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups is "outrageous" and anyone involved needs to be "held fully accountable,” President Barack Obama said Monday at a news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr. Obama said people are "properly concerned" about the IRS's targeting of conservative political groups.
He said he first learned of it when news reports broke on Friday.
Mr. Obama says he has "no patience for it" and will not tolerate a specific targeting of groups.
White House spokesman later said the IRS inspector general notified the White House counsel's office during the week of April 22 that it was completing a review of the IRS office in Cincinnati that targeted conservative political groups for special examination.
Carney said the counsel's office was not given details about the review.
He said the president was not told about the review, and reiterated Mr. Obama's assertion Monday that he did not learn such groups had been targeted until news reports broke Friday.
The IRS has apologized for what it calls "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
Republicans condemned the targeting.
The president, meanwhile, dismissed Republican criticism of his administration's handling of the attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya, calling the criticism a political sideshow.
He was asked about recent disclosures that talking points on the attack produced by the intelligence community were later watered down to delete references to suspected ties between last September's assault and Islamic militants.
Mr. Obama said it was not clear in the aftermath of the attack who was responsible and what their motives were.
He again defended his administration's actions.
The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.